Kennewick woman pleads innocent to endangerment with controlled substance

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldMarch 17, 2013 

A Kennewick woman who knew young children regularly visited her family's apartment is accused of leaving the methamphetamine in her bedroom that ended up in the hands of a 20-month-old girl.

Jazzmen Latay Slack, 20, pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to endangerment with a controlled substance -- methamphetamine -- and possession of sleeping pills.

Her trial is scheduled May 6.

Slack was charged a month after the young girl drank some questionable juice in the South Newport Street apartment and later tested positive for meth.

Slack lives in the home with her mother and Christopher Desean Jackson, who has two younger children with Slack's mother. Slack allegedly sells drugs out of the home, uses meth there and has made multiple meth bongs.

Jackson, 31, has his own case in Benton County for knowingly permitting the girl to ingest meth while in his care.

He also faces a May 6 trial for endangerment with a controlled substance and possession of meth.

According to court documents, Jackson had been caring for his 20-month-old niece all day Jan. 28 when he noticed that she was "acting strangely and rubbing her eyes." Hours later, when his mother came to pick up all four of her granddaughters, she reportedly made the same observations and noted that the girl had very red eyes, was "wringing her hands and blowing saliva bubbles."

The grandmother -- who police said has custody of the girl -- took her to Kennewick General Hospital, where a drug test reportedly showed the presence of meth.

Kennewick Officer Craig Hanson met with the girl's grandmother, who said the girl was not acting unusual when she was dropped off at her uncle's home at 6:45 a.m., documents said.

Jackson sent his mother a text at 4 p.m. indicating his niece was acting strangely.

After picking up the girl at 9 p.m., the grandmother was at the hospital when Jackson contacted her by phone, said the girl may have taken some "juice" belonging to Slack and instructed his mother to have his niece tested for drugs, court documents said.

Jackson didn't specify what type of drug, documents said.

Police were told that Jackson was responsible for caring for the children during the day.

A search of Jackson and Slack's apartment turned up a broken glass pipe with white residue from a shelf in a room that paperwork showed belongs to Jackson, court documents said.

Another broken glass pipe with white residue and a plastic bag with white residue were found in a bathroom, and multiple prescription sleeping pills were found in Slack's bedroom, documents said. Officers also allegedly found multiple bottles and cups containing unknown liquids throughout the home.

The victim's older sister later told police that Jackson had said the young girl got the drugs from Slack's room, court documents said. The sister also claimed that a cousin got the drugs out of the closet, and that is how the young victim got her hands on them, documents said.

Slack's endangerment charge is for knowingly or intentionally permitting a dependent child to be exposed to meth, or an ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or anhydrous ammonia that's being used in the making of meth.

She is being held on $5,000 bail.

Jackson remains behind bars on $20,000 bail. He was unsuccessful in getting the amount reduced at a hearing last month.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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